Most visitors come to Slovenia in summer, when the weather is at its most reliable, the full range of sights are open, and the country’s numerous festivals are in full swing. However, many of Slovenia’s attractions, including the capital, are just as enjoyable outside the peak summer months, and in particular during spring and autumn, when the countryside colours are at their most resplendent, hotel prices (at least in the resort areas) are slightly lower and the crowds are a little thinner. Slovenia’s climate follows three distinctive patterns: in the northwest, an alpine climate predominates, characterized by very cold winters, often with heavy rainfall and snow, and moderately warm summers, occasionally interspersed with short, violent storms. However, with the wide range of pursuits on offer here – skiing between December and March, and climbing, hiking and adventure sports between April and September – a visit to the mountain regions can be enjoyed at pretty much any time of the year. Aside from Kranjska Gora in the winter, and Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj in the height of summer, few resorts get so full that finding accommodation becomes a problem.
The Primorska region (from the Soia Valley down to the coast) has a typically Mediterranean climate – very warm summers with consistent sunshine, and pleasantly cool winters; this is the one part of the country that can feel a little pressured by crowds, particularly in August when hordes of vacationing Italians arrive from just across the border. Booking accommodation around this time is therefore recommended. Whatever the season, there’s a good chance you’ll experience the infamous burja, a vicious wind that whips down through the Karst on its way to the Bay of Trieste.
The remainder of the country subscribes to a continental climate of hot, dry summers – particularly in the south and east of the country – and bitterly cold winters.